I loved model villages and buildings as a kid in the 70s. ‘Sim City’ made city simulation fun again. Thanks to Skimbal, we can make Sim City styled buildings with our printers, and play “Crush, Crumble and Chomp” or Godzilla vs Manhattan on our desks.
Or if you are an unemployed town planner, maybe you could write a set of city planning ordinances with points scored for driving your rival supermarket out of business, reducing food miles, good public transport, and limiting the need for freeways? Turn it into a cut-throat high-finance game, and use these as playing pieces.
I know I said I’d write up some comments on wiring up the Prusa, but printing is such fun! I’ll get to the wiring guide soon.
What amazed me
Skimbal has done a great job of the modelling. There are windows on the sides, and ‘ACME’ in giant embossed letters on the end wall. I printed this model without looking at the thingiverse images closely – it was fun watching it appear out of nothingness.
The small blobs in the bottom left of the shot are trucks. What can you expect when they are only 9 strands of PLA high.
How it could be better
Well, things are a bit stringy where the nozzle jumps from object to object (I guess oozebane and retraction will be the solution here), and the little chimneys on top of the angled rooftops got a bit mushed by the extruder head (that might be solved by ‘cooling’ or a small fan). I’m getting better at this. Look at the prints on the thingiverse page to see what skilled operators can achieve.
How big is it
I took note of the figures Pronterface gave me while it was skinning and printing this model. It took 1 minute 26 seconds to skin it and prepare for printing, and 46.6 minutes to print it. The base it stands on is 46.6 mm square (or should be, mine is 39.5 so I’ve not quite got my x- and y-steps correct), and the whole print is 44.7 mm high.
What it cost
It took 2.3 metres of filament to construct. Faberdashery in the U.K. sells filament by the metre, and for something like the sort I’m using, they charge 30 pence per metre.
So the plastic for my model probably costs around $1 Australian or American. Not counting postage. Except that I think Americans in particular can buy PLA locally cheaper than that.
So for $25 in materials (and 3 days sleep-deprived non-stop printing) I could build a modular Central Business District of 25 various buildings that would cover roughly a square foot, including roadways between the structures.
My wife desperately wants an ancient Roman playset. Any guru modellers out there with models languishing unloved on a hard-drive? Your public needs you!
And I’ve got to try priming and painting some models. I wonder if artist’s acrylics would bond to PLA?
*The post title is of course a reference to PLA plastic being made out of corn starch. (And a Jefferson Starship song, but they were a bit before my time).